Rogue Trucking Companies
Rogue trucking companies are trucking companies that have a history of unsafe operations, motor carrier violations, unsafe drivers, negligent tractor and trailer maintenance, and poor safety ratings. Often times, rogue trucking companies are also companies set up for the purpose of shielding their unsafe practices, and skirting safety and trucking regulations. They may be shell or sham corporations set up for short periods of time, essentially long enough to pick up motor carrier violations and be shut down, then a new company is set up with the same essential people, same semi-trucks and trailers, but a new name and DOT number. Rogue trucking companies are lurking dangers on our interstates, including Interstate 40 and Interstate 25. They can be like chameleons on our New Mexico roads disguised as legitimate drivers and companies. Albuquerque attorney Matthew Vance sues rogue trucking companies and their drivers, holding them responsible and accountable for the hurt and harm they cause. If you or a family member has been involved in a trucking crash caused by an unsafe trucker or a rogue trucking company, New Mexico truck accident lawyer Matthew Vance can investigate the details of your situation and guide you through the legal process.
The Law Office of Matthew Vance, P.C., and attorney Matthew Vance have successfully sued rogue truckers and trucking companies before. See a sample complaint here.Trucking accident attorney Matthew Vance knows the law and how to hold rogue trucking companies and their unsafe truck drivers responsible.
The legal theories used to pursue rogue trucking companies begin with, but do not end with, civil negligence law. A plaintiff still has the burden to prove, by a preponderance of admissible evidence, that the tractor-trailer driver or trucking company was negligent. Negligence means that a duty, to act with reasonable care under the circumstances, existed, that duty was breached, the breach caused harm, and the plaintiff suffered damages as a result. In a trucking accident case, negligence is often proven by demonstrating violation of a regulation or minimum safe standard related to trucking, including violation of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, State of New Mexico Department of Transportation Regulations, minimum knowledge and skill standards of the NM CDL Manual, or other violation of local laws or ordinances. A careless trucker can be held responsible for the harm they may cause, especially when they are in violation of one or more of the above laws, ordinances, or regulations. The trucking company that puts a careless trucker on the road, can be held responsible for negligent hiring, training, supervision, and retention of that driver. The trucking company can also be held responsible under theories of vicarious liability and respondeat superior. Brokers and shippers can similarly be held responsible for their negligence in hiring or contracting with an unsafe driver or rogue trucking company.
Holding the rogue trucker or trucking company responsible and financially accountable for the harms they cause can be difficult and require special effort and skills because of the corporate shell-game they try to play. They are not above the law. The civil legal justice system has special legal theories that can be used to reach the companies and people behind the sham corporation, or corporations. These legal theories include, but are not necessarily limited to; piercing the corporate veil, vicarious liability, joint venture, civil conspiracy, alter-ego theory, successor liability, and joint and several liability for concurrent joint tortfeasors. These legal theories can allow a plaintiff to discover the identity of the driver, the business entity behind the driver, any other businesses or corporations involved with the driver, and the individual people associated with the corporations. This discovery process can be critical when dealing with a rogue trucking company - where the goal for the bad guys is to avoid responsibility and liability by hiding behind fabricated or underfunded business entities. Rogue trucking companies are their drivers hope that you will not ask the right questions until it is too late. If you are forced to file a lawsuit and do it too late, you will be unable to name the correct defendants and may be unable to make the right people pay for the damages they have caused you or your family.The Law Office of Matthew Vance, P.C., has successfully prosecuted rogue trucking companies, their drivers, and those responsible.
When dealing with a rogue trucking company, it is important to begin investigation as soon as possible. Investigation may need to begin in the moments after the crash. Many police officers are not sufficiently trained to investigate a commercial motor vehicle crash. The crash report forms they fill out following a trucking accident are "uniform crash reports," which means they are not specially designed to record information relevant to a trucking crash case - they are more suitable for passenger vehicle crash cases. Frequently, traffic police officers do not correctly identify the driver and, more importantly, the company or companies involved. They may not document the DOT number for the commercial motor vehicle. They don't understand that the tractor unit of the big rig can be owned by one person or entity but the trailer unit can be owned by someone entirely different. They may not correctly record the VIN numbers of the semi-truck and the trailer to later enable a victim to determine all the entities involved and all the insurance policies that may apply. They may be unaware of electronic control modules, ECM, or other electronic monitoring devices on the big rig or trailer. More than one police officer has written a report and reached conclusions about fault without taking into account the "time-machine" information stored in an on-board computer regarding the negligent operation of the 18-wheeler. As a result, a victim cannot rely upon a responding police officer to gather or collect the relevant information that will help you hold the bad trucker or their rogue trucking company responsible.
In some cases, the victim of a rogue trucking company and its unsafe driver will need a quick response after a big rig crash. Prompt investigation may include photographs of the scene of the trucking accident; photographs of the semi-truck and trailer involved; documentation of all DOT numbers, VIN number on the tractor and trailer; photographs of the driver and co-driver of the semi; photographs of their CDL licenses, insurance documents, and any other documents related to their current load. Research into the driver and trucking company will need to begin immediately, including Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regarding the trucking company, its DOT number, underlying application and company information, violations history, and safety rating. On a more local level, New Mexico Inspection of Public Record Act requests (IPRA) may need to be sent to public entities like New Mexico Department of Transportation for documents and information related to the rogue trucking company or its driver. An expert specialized in accident reconstruction may also need to be retained as soon as possible so they can collect critical evidence at the scene and start their work before uncollected evidence disappears. An accident reconstructionist may need to observe and measure the crush damage to the wrecked vehicles; vehicles which will soon disappear into a junk yard following a trucking accident. Suffice to say, when the harm caused in a trucking wreck can mean the loss of life or other catastrophic injuries, it is important for a victim to begin their investigation and preservation of evidence as soon as possible.Early legal action may be necessary when a rogue trucking company is involved.
Sometimes the only way to correctly identify the commercial drivers and trucking companies involved, is to file a lawsuit early on and engage in written discovery and depositions. This is particularly true when a rogue trucking company is involved. Litigation allows a victim of a trucking accident to send discovery, including interrogatories, requests for production, and requests for admission to a defendant trucker, defendant trucking company, and defendant broker or shipper. These forms of written discovery under the rules of civil procedure can allow a victim to require the driver to answer questions about whether the driver accepts responsibility for their negligence, what company or companies the driver worked for, what actions the driver took or failed to take, which resulted in the CDL drivers negligence and the trucking accident, and what the driver will now do to pay for the harm and losses caused. Similarly, written discovery in regard to the trucking company can involve asking the company to identify the person answering the discovery, what company or companies they work for, who else is involved in the company, who are their drivers, what commercial motor vehicles do they own or operate, and whether the company accepts responsibility for its careless conduct. Because a rogue trucking company is essentially designed to avoid accountability and to hide from responsibility, early answers to these type of questions can be extremely important. If a victim fails to act quickly, they could be prevented from asking these questions later or fail to sue the correct company or persons that are responsible for the trucking accident.
The Law Office of Matthew Vance, P.C., and attorney Matthew Vance have successfully sued rogue truckers and trucking companies before. See a sample discovery here.Contact an Albuquerque Lawyer Matt Vance
Victims who have been hurt by a rogue trucking company need to act quickly to protect their rights and hold the bad trucker and the reckless people that put him or her on the road responsible. It is important to discuss your case with an attorney as soon as possible following the trucking accident so an appropriate investigation can be made into the CDL driver, the DOT number of the tractor, the DOT number of the trailer, the ownership of the tractor and trailer, the responsible company that put the careless driver on the road, and all the persons and business entities involved. To speak with Albuquerque personal injury attorney Matthew Vance, call us at (505) 242-6267 or contact us online. Our offices are located in downtown Albuquerque, and we assist trucking crash victims in many cities across a New Mexico, including Santa Rosa, Tucumcari, Gallup, Grants, Belen, Los Lunas, Las Cruces, and Deming. We regularly handle cases involving serious injuries and Rogue trucking companies. We have recovered millions of dollars for our clients in truck wreck cases. If you crash with a semi-truck or big rig occurred on Interstate 40 (I-40), Interstate 25 (I-25), Interstate 10 (I-10), or on other highways around New Mexico, we are ready to help. We sue rogue trucking companies and their unsafe drivers. Consultations are free and you will not be required to pay a fee unless we recover compensation for you.